Walmart 0nz0rz j00

A remarkable story about Walmart’s impressive clout caught my eye. The story discusses how Walmart accounted for as much as 25% of the productivity gains between 1990 and 1999. Here is a scary quote:

Wal-Mart’s influence on the U.S. economy has reached levels not seen by a single company since the 19th-century rise of Standard Oil, economists and historians say … Wal-Mart is the top seller of groceries, jewelry and photo processing. It is creating more of its own brands. Some, such as Ol’ Roy dog food and Equate vitamins, quickly became the USA’s top sellers. It is moving into banking, used car sales, travel and Internet access. It averages 100 million customers a week. That’s 88.5 million more people than U.S. airlines fly in a week.

I’ve always said that the perfect IT job would be to work in Walmarts’ inventory control department. It boasts satallite controlled inventory tracking among other things. Many geeks scream about Microsoft’s might, when maybe they should be screaming about Walmart’s.

Shaq inserts size 32 foot into mouth

Amazing. Shocking. Ironic. Shaq makes a racist remark about Yao Ming. He was quoted as saying “Tell Yao Ming, ‘ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-soh.'” Am I the only one here who sees this as completely ironic? Could anyone imagine if another player had said “Tell Shaq, ‘Homeboy head back to the hood where you belong'”, or something along those lines. The uproar would have been huge and the response would have been swift in the terms of suspension or fines or both from the NBA. Personally, I think the NBA should fine/suspend him and he should publicy recognize that his remarks where wrong. An apology saying “IF I offended anyone, I’m sorry.” isn’t what I would consider an apology.

Reese a

I was reading a story on about Heidi Feiss, the Hollywood Madam, when I came across this little tidbit:

“Pay the Girl” will be written by Lisa Schrager, whose “Original Gangsta Bitches” script is being developed at Universal for Reese Witherspoon.

Am I the only one who finds this hysterical? Not only are they going to create a movie called “Original Gangsta Bitches”, but they’re going to cast Reese Witherspoon as the lead? Are they nuts?

Just give it to me straight!

What is it with prescription drug commercials not telling you what the drug is about? Zocor has a commercial where Dan Reid, the Atlanta Falcons head coach, talks of the advantages of the drug, but not once does he mention what it does. After looking through the website I see that it is used in conjunction with dietary modifications to lower your cholesterol.

What I find so ironic is that the the FDA calls drug ads misleading based on what they perceive to be misleading sales pitches. I think that if I don’t know what the hell the drug does I could care less about the sales pitch.

Evidently the FDA agrees with me that drug commercials are confusing. You can do a Google search for more info.

Sleeping in separate beds

I couldn’t help but post this story about older couples having to sleep in separate beds while visiting home. I’m 22 and my girlfriend is 21, we’re both adults, and we spend every night together (usually at her place because mine is scary), but we sleep in separate beds while visiting my parents. I don’t fault my parents for this. I think they’d be OK with us sleeping in the same bed as long as some respect was shown, which makes sense. But, the topic hasn’t come up so it remains status quo as of now.

I think that a lot of the people quoted in the story would find most parents would be fine with it as long as one simple ground rule was followed: No sex. I don’t think that would be such a horrible request.

Wall Street Pay Fines

It’s nice to see that the SEC is working to combat the onslaught of bad business practices that were pervasive during the 90’s bull market. These companies funded “research” into stocks they were not only actively investing in, but encouraging their clients to invest in as well. Of course this lead to “research” that was tainted to push the stock higher. The investment houses agreed to pay over 1.4 billion dollars in fines, fund independent research, and separate research operations from invenstment banking operations.

Having lived through the bubble as both an investor and as a dot commer this news doesn’t surprise me. We all bought stocks that were totally overpriced because of high expectation and faulty research. That’s how it was. Now I use my Datek account as a money market account.

Stupid Crimes

Being a huge fan of the Darwin Awards, I found this story about the dumbest crimes of 2002 in Canada quite amusing.

Probably the best part of the whole story is the blurb outlining a teacher’s twist on those ever troubling story problems:

Students were asked to figure out how much Willie would make for stealing a number of luxury cars, how far a thief could travel on a stolen skateboard before getting “whacked,” and how many “tricks” three prostitutes would have to turn in order to support their pimp’s cocaine habit. The teacher was suspended from the classroom until June 2003.

The stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me. A famous philsopher once said people were inherently bad, I say they are inherently stupid.

Sexual Orientation Bias in Schools

What our school systems do on a regular basis doesn’t surprise me anymore. Here is a story about a young girl who was forced out of gym class because she was a lesbian.

This is wrong on so many levels. First off this flies in the face of most education codes, which usually include a portion saying they won’t descriminate based on a student’s sexual orientation.

Here in Ypsilanti there was a proposed change to the city’s charter that would have excluded sexual orientation in it’s bias clause. This would, essentially, mean people could descriminate based on sexual orientation within the city limits of Ypsilanti. The odd part, though, is that the way the proposed change was worded transexuals would have remained protected.

Your mommy will not hold your hand anymore

University professors are having problems with your parents calling in and yelling about low grades. With parents paying upwards of $30,000 a year for college they feel they have a right to call in to make sure they are getting their money’s worth.

Professors, on the other hand, are boud by privacy policies that forbid them from discussing your grades. They can, however, talk about what caused the grade slips; such as your 50% skip rate and low test scores.

What parents need to realize is the grades you recieve in classes are a direct relationship of your time management skills and overall laziness and an inverse relationship to the amount of partying you do, not your knowledge on a given subject. College is not about getting a better job or making more money, it is preschool for real life. The lessons learned in time management, money management, sex, drinking, drugs, and friendships will guide you when you finally get out of college.